#133 Menopause and weight gain
Many of my clients find that losing weight or maintaining their weight gets harder once they hit their 40s, 50's or 60s.
We often blame this on a slowing metabolism and yet recent studies show that the metabolism hardly changes at all between the ages of 20-60 - hard to believe I know but the truth is there in black and white.
So what is going on?
For many of us when we hit perimenopause our hunger signals rev up. We feel hungry between meals, after a meal and late at night wtf!!!
An increase in appetite is a common menopausal symptom. We are not always even aware that we are eating more. We think that we are eating the same and yet gaining weight.
This appetite dysregulation messes with our hunger hormone leptin and causes overeating, cravings, grazing and picking, and even binge eating.
All of this can add to a feeling of being out of control.
Our appetite is carefully regulated by hormones that tell us when we are hungry when we have had enough when to store fat and when to burn fat.
Declining oestrogen levels even some 15 years before menopause mess with these signals promoting overeating and weight gain.
Unfortunately, when we gain weight in this situation it is usually visceral fat around our middle and this makes the situation worse because it causes insulin resistance which throws us into a worse state of fat storage rather than fat burning.
The good news is that you can regulate your appetite by controlling blood insulin levels keeping your blood sugars stable and managing your mind around food.
Increasing your fibre intake fills you up and improves insulin function. Eating whole grains, beans, vegetables and legumes, and drinking plenty of water will keep you full and your body burning fat as a fuel.
Try eating three high fibre meals a day and avoid snacking to help with appetite regulation. Snacking often just makes you hungrier by increasing your blood insulin levels.
Avoid white starches and sugar.
Keep nighttime eating to a minimum.
Try a 13-hour water only fast from dinner - to breakfast.
I know that many of us swear blind that we aren't eating more. But if you track your food and are really honest with yourself I bet that you are eating more than you think you are.
I would love to help you to take control back and learn how to manage your mind around food despite menopause.
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